Boston Boston Boston.
On one hand I like running races because it's an automatic topic to blog about later. On the other hand... sometimes these things get built up and I get intimidated. Now that it's been almost two weeks, I would like to cop out and tell you to check out Jenn's awesome PR report, Ana-Maria's hardcore report, or one of the many other Boston recaps.
Have you left yet? No? Still expecting more? Ok fine.
We checked into our hotel Sunday night and I kinda threw my stuff together for the race. I struggled putting the timing chip (an actual "old-school" chip) on my laces for some reason, even though I'd used them many times before. The alarm went off entirely too early on Monday morning and I was slightly tempted to skip the race and sleep. I read a few "good luck" comments in my inbox and watched the "Under Pressure" video from Phong as I slowly got ready.
Terri picked Josh and I up and chauffeured me over to the bus pick-up... wherever that was. Boston common? I don't even remember, it was early (ok, at this point like 6:45, not that early). Thank goodness for Terri. I waited in line for a few minutes before boarding a school bus. If you ever want to feel inadequate as a runner, go to Boston. I listened to others chat about "taking it easy and 'just' aiming for a 3:10 or so". Can we trade legs please? Fabulous. The bus ride was long but it worked out well, I was dropped off at the athlete's village with only about an hour to kill before I needed to head to the start.
I moseyed around - utilizing the facilities, taking a few pictures, getting a temporary tattoo, finding coffee and then started feeling chilled. I dipped into the pre-race massage building even though I had no intention of getting a massage. I pretended like I was waiting in line so i could stay warm. After killing about 15 minutes in there, I needed another trip to the plastic hut and figured I ought to get moving towards bag check anyway.
On Sunday I realized I'd forgotten to bring throw-away clothes so I hit up TJ Maxx for some $12 sweats that make me look like a man. Well you really can't beat that soft-new-sweats-feeling and I couldn't bear to part with them. I peeled them off and stuffed them in my gear bag, choosing to shiver a little until the start. It ended up working out because I needed them after the race. It did not work out though when I went to pack my suitcase on Tuesday, but darn it I was taking those soft sweats with me and crammed them into my purse. Yes, all for $12 sweats that I probably will never wear again. Very logical.
[photo by Josh]
Anyway back to the race. I checked my bag and followed the crowds to the start. The flyover went by and an announcer pointed out that it would only take them 4-minutes or so to get to the finish line. Some people were running to the start, but I was all for conservation. These things are chip-timed anyway, what's the rush. Once the race started, I think it took about 15 minutes to actually get to the start line (uphill no less). The announcer there was so kind to call us "back of the packers". Gee thanks BAA, from what I heard Corral 13 runners qualified with a 3:35 or better. Not your typical back of the pack, unless in Boston apparently.
I trotted over the start line and was officially running my 8th marathon. I had no goals other than to finish. Well, obviously I was kinda going for a certain time but I had no qualms throwing that to the wind when I started falling apart. I knew my training hadn't gone well, I knew I hadn't felt 100% in the past month, and I've finally matured enough to take some pressure off myself. I wanted to take it easy and enjoy the race.
Yes I know I said I would not wear these shorts until I
did about 1,934,252 squats; I lied. I came up a little short.
[photo by Josh]
I took off running again, aiming to make it to the halfway point under/at 2-hrs. I was already beginning to slow and my legs were starting to ache. I started making mileage bargains with myself before I could walk, but don't remember when I started giving in. the Wellesley "scream tunnel" was not what I had imagined in my mind, though I had no idea what to expect. It was still a great boost of support on what would've otherwise been a lonely stretch of road. Around mile 15 I stopped for a bathroom break. Hey, I'm taking this thing easy remember.
Tired legs, slacking "stride", mile 17-ish
[photo by Josh]
I saw my peeps again around mile 17. I stopped to chat and tried asking for a ride home. Again, I was rejected. Josh pointed at my shoes and said "there's your ride, get going". I headed off, not-so excited for the upcoming famed hills.
Things hadn't been feeling good for awhile. I gu'd around mile 5 and again around mile 10, but after that I felt like throwing up so I stuck to water and Gatorade. Those weren't settling well either, but I knew I needed to take in something. My legs were tired and sore, which was frustrating because they shouldn't have been. I didn't feel great overall, and found myself walking more and more. My average pace for miles 11-20 was 9:37, a full minute slower than the first 10.
I slowly pressed onward, walking and running, waiting for that stupid Citgo sign to come into view. the Citgo signifies one mile to go, and it was also the final spectating spot for my friends. I knew I would not bother asking for a ride home at that point, with the finish line and medal so close. I felt nauseous, but I rounded Boylston and started picking up the pace. The joy of seeing the finish line helped me eek out a little extra energy, and I sprinted past a good number of people. When I crossed the finish line I felt dizzy, and couldn't decide if I should grab a medic or not. I got some water (didn't drink it) and my food bag (didn't eat anything) and decided I'd rather find Josh than get tied up in the med tent.
I staggered down the finishing chute to gear check where I put my beloved sweats back on. I found Josh, Terri and her husband much sooner than I expected to, which was nice. I sat on the curb for awhile to try and calm the nausea/dizziness. I know I was not a pleasant person for a while there but Terri put up with me anyway (huge thanks). Eventually I got up, shimmied under the fencing to get out of the finisher's area and we went off to get some food.
Terri & I post race, in my beloved "throw away" man sweats
[photo by Josh]
The only thing I'm remotely disappointed in over Boston is my mental-game. After running a sub-4 in the Derby Marathon a week later, I wonder if I mentally wimped out a little in Boston. I don't remember my exact thoughts and feelings from mid-race though, and I know that the slightest nausea/dizziness freaks me out now after those two bad episodes. So who knows.
I do know that I have no excuses now; I've run Boston under my maiden name. Dang it! I should've come up with more stipulations (jk Josh). I guess I ought to work on planning this shindig that is taking place in, oh, less than 3 months.